El Carrito: Week Ten, Thursday, March 24, 2011

Neighborhood Detectives Study the Fort Pienc Model; Photo Credit: Giovanni Roncador

Barrio Detectives

Although this Thursday afternoon was somewhat of a waiting game, we did have two new Neighborhood Detective teams that included six children and drew some of their parents to El Carrito as well.


New Team of Neighborhood Detectives receives Mission Instructions

Neighborhood Detectives Official Photo after Completing the Plaza Mission

Postcard Prizes for Neighborhood Detectives

Engaging Children and Parents

Space for Democracy and Debate

It is generally agreed that public space is democratic space – in other words, it is open to all people. Similarly, public participation capitalizes on this multi-opined  presence to gather wide-ranging input about an issue of concern. In our case: How do Fort Pienc residents use the public spaces in their neighborhood? Conceivably, then we (as planners, designers and catalysts for inclusive city development) can synthesize citizen contribution towards the achievement of projects for the public good.

Regarding the use of public participation towards the improvement of public space, Carlos had the following conversation with two residents at two different times regarding the Civic Center Plaza. As some background information, three cafes, a market, the library, senior-citizen housing and the elementary school all open onto the plaza.

Resident 1 remarks that the elementary school takes priority over the other uses in the plaza. Since all the recreational outdoor spaces of the school are contained within a relatively small footprint, portions of the public plaza should be given over for school use. Furthermore, he remarks that the school lacks sufficient green space like other playgrounds in the neighborhood, such as the Elementary School Ramon Llull.

Resident 2 proclaimed that the residents around the plaza are some of the luckiest in Barcelona because their public space contains so many activities beneficial for daily life. He also noted that his children, who attend the school, are more than happy with their recreational spaces.

Carlos draws some useful questions from these exchanges:

On what experience and knowledge are these perceptions and opinions founded?

Do the residents’ different perceptions of space and use, hinder or enrich participation processes?

The Waiting Game

After all the excitement, El Carrito patiently awaits further activity.


The Waiting Game


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